From Academic Kids
Power Rangers is a series of television series, based on the Super Sentai series of shows. However, they are not English dubs of the original Japanese tokusatsu shows: they are adaptations with English-speaking actors spliced in with the original Japanese footage from the adapted shows that use their own creative storylines (although the storylines of certain Power Rangers series are similar to the Sentai shows that they are based off). The Power Ranger series was distributed by Saban Entertainment from 1993 until 2002 and broadcasted on the Fox network. In 2002, in the middle of the Power Rangers Wild Force series, Power Rangers changed ownership to Disney and the remainder of the series and all subsequent series air on one of the ABC networks, ABC Kids, ABCFamily, or Toon Disney (much to the chagrin of the latter network's viewers).
Each of the Power Rangers seasons, or incarnations, centers around a group of people, often teenagers (age of actors actually varies from 17 to 21 years old), that gain super powers to fight various villains, ranging from demons to witches to aliens. To activate these powers, these characters, known in general as the Power Rangers, morph by performing a standard action and reciting a morphing call. Throughout the series, the Power Rangers learn the importance of teamwork and perseverance as they battle progressively harder to defeat villains. Like its Super Sentai counterpart, from which some of an episode's footage is taken, a monster is unleashed on the Power Rangers and it is usually up to them to destroy the monster.
Often, before a monster is defeated, a monster will grow into gigantic proportions, forcing the Power Rangers to use gigantic (bio)mechanical machines known as Zords. In many cases, these Zords can be combined to form a more advanced (and humanlike) machine, known as a Megazord. In many series, because of the way Zords are combined, the Power Rangers may also use interchangeable parts to enhance their fighting power, or combine Megazords together to form larger Megazords. Though only in the first four seasons, there were extremely large combinations of Zords known as Ultrazords.
The plot sequence is as follows:
1. Rangers are seen in everyday life with a dispute to resolve.
2. Rangers are attacked by evil enemy's minions.
3. Rangers fight minions.
4. Rangers get into costume.
5. Rangers fight minions some more.
6. Evil enemy makes minion grow to gigantic proportions, followed by Rangers summoning giant machines known as Zords and/or thier combined form, the Megazord.
(Optional) Rangers find that their current powers are insufficient to defeat monster.
(Continuing from Optional) Rangers use newer, more powerful device (this device may be the newest toy available in a local toy store) to defeat enemy.
7. Rangers are shown back in everyday life, having learned a life lesson which solves the earlier dispute, usually from using their newest weapon.
Elements of a Power Rangers season
In each incarnation of the Power Rangers seasons, there are generally people outside the Power Rangers aiding their cause. Among them is a mentor or teacher figure to help lead the Power Rangers (Zordon for example), as well as a technical wizard or magician who design the various tools used by the Power Rangers (Billy Cranston, for example). Characters for comic relief are generally also present, with such characters attempting to discover the identities of the Power Rangers (Farkas "Bulk" Bulkmeier and Eugene "Skull" Skullovitch, for instance), and nearly succeeding on several occasions.
The Rangers themselves are often color-coded, with each Ranger wearing its color even when unmorphed. In some series, a jacket is given to the Power Rangers to distinguish them from non-Ranger characters. Typically, red, blue, green or black, yellow, and pink or white are the colors used. In series where new Power Rangers are introduced, they either utilize one of the not-yet-utilized previously mentioned colors, or they don't follow the color naming conventions at all (for example, the Titanium Ranger in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue). The Red Ranger is usually the leader of the team, except in the second and third seasons of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers and Power Rangers Time Force.
Each team of Power Rangers, with few exceptions, obey a general set of conventions, outlined at the beginning of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and implied throughout many of the other incarnations, although not stated explicitly. These include the Power Rangers being forbidden to use their Ranger powers for personal gain or for escalating a fight. The Power Rangers are also forbidden to disclose their identities to the general public, barring extenuating circumstances (although this rule was disregarded in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue and Power Rangers SPD).
The arsenal available to the Power Rangers is also somewhat standardized: each Ranger is generally armed with a weapon such as a laser gun or a sword. Each Ranger also has a secondary set of weapons, that can often combine to form a larger weapon (usually a cannon). As the series progresses, one or even all of the Rangers are also usually given a motorcycle for long-distance travel, as well as individual zords. In many series, a Ranger is also given additional zords or weapons, in some cases one Ranger may receive something that other Rangers may not have - an example of this is the Red Ranger armor given to the Red Rangers of each series since Power Rangers in Space. Although much of the arsenal can also be found in Super Sentai, there is generally at least some that are not, generally added for the express purpose of marketing toys designed and sold by Bandai.
In later incarnations it is also common for each incarnation to be separate, story-wise, from another incarnation. A tradition in later incarnations is for two teams of Power Rangers to team up and take on a villain. In Power Rangers Wild Force, the tenth incarnation of Power Rangers, this is taken to the next level, as ten Red Rangers teamed up in the episode Forever Red.
Another frequently-occurring element of the show are the horribly exaggerated characters who many viewers believe make the show seem like a horribly low-budget production. To some this is bad, although many find it somewhat hilarious, especially if they've been watching the show forever.
Many critics of the early Power Rangers series claimed that the Power Rangers use unnecessary force to destroy their monsters, and often get into fights when better alternatives were available. In some cases, networks pulled Power Rangers from its lineup, citing such concerns. Later incarnations of Power Rangers often attempt to explain the actions of the Power Rangers, but many still believe that Power Rangers remains a series too violent for young children. Finland pulled the series as they believed that the series caused two boys to beat up a girl in 1993 (it was eventually found that the murder was unconnected to the series). For a time Power Rangers was pulled from Malaysian television screens as the word "morphin" (in the phrase "It's morphin time!") sounded a bit too much like the drug morphine.
The first season of Power Rangers also drew criticism from some groups claiming that the Ranger colors were racist, specifically referring to Zack, the Black Ranger (played by African American actor Walter Emmanuel Jones) and Trini, the Yellow Ranger (played by Asian American actress Thuy Trang). This criticism was rendered moot when the two actors left the show halfway through Season 2 and were replaced with an Asian American male as the Black Ranger, and an African American woman as the Yellow Ranger. This was mentioned in VH1's 'I Love the 90s. Amy Jo Johnson and Walter Emmanuel Jones appeared in the 1994 episode.
The fact that there are very few links between the latter Power Rangers series (apart from the name and format) is often expressed by the older Power Rangers fans. Each series now seems to start the story anew instead of continuing from the previous season as it used to. The first Power Rangers show to stop being a direct continuation from the previous was Power Rangers Lost Galaxy.
A current problem with the Rangers is the fact that their latest seasons are shown on Toon Disney, as part of the JETIX programming block. Many viewers of the network are dissatisfied with this addition, as it violates the very purpose of Toon Disney - that is, to show Disney cartoons.
Incarnations of Power Rangers
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (1993-1995)
- Mighty Morphin' Alien Rangers (1995) (Mini-story arc within the 3rd Season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers)
- Power Rangers: Zeo (1996)
- Power Rangers: Turbo (1997)
- Power Rangers: In Space (1998)
- Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy (1999)
- Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue (2000)
- Power Rangers: Time Force (2001)
- Power Rangers: Wild Force (2002)
- Power Rangers: Ninja Storm (2003)
- Power Rangers: Dino Thunder (2004)
- Power Rangers: SPD (2005)
- Power Rangers: Mystic Force (2006)
Power Rangers in film
The Power Rangers series have also brought forth two movies, neither of which were box-office successes.
See List of Power Rangers characters for more extensive listings.
- Super Sentai
- VR Troopers
- Masked Rider
- Big Bad Beetleborgs
- List of Power Rangers villains
- List of Power Rangers monsters
- Planets of Power Rangers
- Power Rangers Central (http://www.rangercentral.com)